Signal

Signal is an open-source messaging app made Signal Messenger, LLC.

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Handling

Does the policy allow personally-targeted or behavioral marketing? No

10/10

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Yes, but you can opt-out3.5/10
Yes, but you must opt-in7/10
No10/10

Note

No information proving such.

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Does the service allow third-party access to private personal data? Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)

8/10

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This may come in the form of outright data sharing or by using local third-party analytics software (such as Google Analytics, which collects a plethora of user information).

Note that whether the policy allows sharing aggregated user data does not affect this question.

If the personal data is encrypted when it passes through the third-party, it does not count as third-party access (as the data is inaccessible to that party).

If personal data has been made public by, for example, posting it to a blog, it does not count as private personal information (and is therefore not considered by this question).

Possible Options

Yes, not all parties specified0/10
Yes, all parties specified (including non-critical service providers such as advertisers)3/10
Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)7/10
Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)8/10
No10/10

Citation

We work with third parties to provide some of our Services. For example, our Third-Party Providers send a verification code to your phone number when you register for our Services. These providers are bound by their Privacy Policies to safeguard that information. If you use other Third-Party Services like YouTube, Spotify, Giphy, etc. in connection with our Services, their Terms and Privacy Policies govern your use of those services.

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Does the service allow you to permanently delete your personal data? Yes, using an automated mechanism

5/5

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Even if there is a reasonable delay before the data is fully deleted (as is common), the data still counts as "permanently deleted" and satisfies the parameters for this question.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes, by contacting someone3/5
Yes, using an automated mechanism5/5
N/A (no personal information collected)5/5

Note

According to their support documentation (https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007061192), you can delete your account

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When does the policy allow law enforcement access to personal data? When reasonably requested

3/5

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

Always0/5
Not specified0/5
When reasonably requested3/5
Only when required by a court order or subpoena4/5
N/A (no personal data to share)5/5
Never (special legal jurisdiction)5/5

Citation

Other instances where Signal may need to share your data

-To meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request. - To enforce applicable Terms, including investigation of potential violations. - To detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues. - To protect against harm to the rights, property, or safety of Signal, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law.

Note

Open to interpretation.

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Transparency

Does the policy require users to be notified in case of a data breach? N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)

7/7

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 8% of the final score.

Note that all companies operating in the EU are subject to Art. 33 of the GDPR, which requires companies to notify their data protection authority of a data breach within 72 hours of discovering it.

Possible Options

No0/7
Yes, eventually5/7
Yes, within 72 hours7/7
N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)7/7

Note

Notification is possible through SMS or the Signal protocol, however not enough data is stored by Signal to warrant an alert due to a data breach

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Will affected users be notified when the policy is meaningfully changed? No

0/5

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes5/5
N/A (no personal data—or contact information—collected)5/5

Citation

We will update this privacy policy as needed so that it is current, accurate, and as clear as possible. Your continued use of our Services confirms your acceptance of our updated Privacy Policy.

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Is the policy's history made available? Only the date it was last modified

3/5

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Only the date it was last modified3/5
Yes, with revisions or a change-log5/5

Citation

Effective as of May 25, 2018

Updated May 25, 2018

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Does the policy outline the service's general security practices? Somewhat

1/3

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 4% of the final score.

The policy provides only a very vague overview of its security practices.

Possible Options

No0/3
Somewhat1/3
Yes2/3
Yes, including audits2.5/3
N/A (no personal data collected)3/3
Yes, including independent audits3/3

Citation

Signal utilizes state-of-the-art security and end-to-end encryption to provide private messaging and Internet calling services to users worldwide (“Services”). Your calls and messages are always encrypted, so they can never be shared or viewed by anyone but yourself and the intended recipients.

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Collection

Is it clear why the service collects the personal data that it does? Yes

10/10

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This question deals with transparency. Even if the service uses data for reasons that aren't ideal for privacy, provided they list all of those uses, the service can still receive full credit for this question. However, if they are not explicit about their uses (by employing language like "such as"), a lower score is assigned.

Possible Options

No0/10
Somewhat4/10
Mostly7/10
Yes10/10
No personal data is collected10/10

Citation

Account Information. You register a phone number when you create a Signal account. Phone numbers are used to provide our Services to you and other Signal users. You may optionally add other information to your account, such as a profile name and profile picture. This information is end-to-end encrypted.

Messages. Signal cannot decrypt or otherwise access the content of your messages or calls. Signal queues end-to-end encrypted messages on its servers for delivery to devices that are temporarily offline (e.g. a phone whose battery has died). Your message history is stored on your own devices.

Additional technical information is stored on our servers, including randomly generated authentication tokens, keys, push tokens, and other material that is necessary to establish calls and transmit messages. Signal limits this additional technical information to the minimum required to operate the Services.

Contacts. Signal can optionally discover which contacts in your address book are Signal users, using a service designed to protect the privacy of your contacts. Information from the contacts on your device may be cryptographically hashed and transmitted to the server in order to determine which of your contacts are registered.

User Support. If you contact Signal User Support, any personal data you may share with us is kept only for the purposes of researching the issue and contacting you about your case.

Managing your information. You can manage your personal information in Signal’s application Settings. For example, you can update your profile information or choose to enable additional privacy features like a Registration Lock PIN.

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Does the policy list the personal data it collects? Yes, exhaustively

10/10

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

All types of collected personal data are listed specifically

Possible Options

No0/10
Only summarily3/10
Yes, generally7/10
Yes, exhaustively10/10
N/A (no personal information is collected)10/10

Citation

Account Information. You register a phone number when you create a Signal account. Phone numbers are used to provide our Services to you and other Signal users. You may optionally add other information to your account, such as a profile name and profile picture. This information is end-to-end encrypted.

Messages. Signal cannot decrypt or otherwise access the content of your messages or calls. Signal queues end-to-end encrypted messages on its servers for delivery to devices that are temporarily offline (e.g. a phone whose battery has died). Your message history is stored on your own devices.

Additional technical information is stored on our servers, including randomly generated authentication tokens, keys, push tokens, and other material that is necessary to establish calls and transmit messages. Signal limits this additional technical information to the minimum required to operate the Services.

Contacts. Signal can optionally discover which contacts in your address book are Signal users, using a service designed to protect the privacy of your contacts. Information from the contacts on your device may be cryptographically hashed and transmitted to the server in order to determine which of your contacts are registered.

User Support. If you contact Signal User Support, any personal data you may share with us is kept only for the purposes of researching the issue and contacting you about your case.

Managing your information. You can manage your personal information in Signal’s application Settings. For example, you can update your profile information or choose to enable additional privacy features like a Registration Lock PIN.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Does the service collect personal data from third parties? No

10/10

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This includes the use of data brokers and independent verification authorities (such as background check providers).

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Only for critical data7/10
No10/10

Note

Signal doesn't collect data from third parties.

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Does the service allow the user to control whether personal data is used or collected for non-critical purposes? On an opt-in basis

5/5

Decided May 18, 2020 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Non-critical use of personal data is not enabled by default.

Some services allow users to opt-out or opt-in to of non-critical collection or use of personal data, such as collecting data for personalized advertisements.

Possible Options

No0/5
On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses1.5/5
On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses3/5
N/A (no data used for non-critical purposes)5/5
On an opt-in basis5/5

Citation

Account Information. You register a phone number when you create a Signal account. Phone numbers are used to provide our Services to you and other Signal users. You may optionally add other information to your account, such as a profile name and profile picture. This information is end-to-end encrypted. [...] Contacts. Signal can optionally discover which contacts in your address book are Signal users, using a service designed to protect the privacy of your contacts. Information from the contacts on your device may be cryptographically hashed and transmitted to the server in order to determine which of your contacts are registered.

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Warnings

Signal has no warnings published on PrivacySpy. PrivacySpy publishes warnings when it learns a service has announced a data breach or is found misusing user data. If you believe a warning should be published for Signal, submit one here.


Highlighted Policy Snapshot ALPHA

No highlighted policy snapshot has been created for this privacy policy. To view the policy at its original location, click here.

8.5/10

How we calculate ratings →


Version Added

May 18, 2020

Ratings Updated

May 18, 2020

Warnings

0

Maintained by

doamatto

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